Courses I Took Last Semester
I realised some time ago that I hadn’t really talked much about what courses I took last year and my university experience last year. I have talked about it a little bit in passing but not on a post on its own and since some people have been asking me about it I thought I could write a post and talk about what courses I took, what I learnt and my experiences with online classes.
As you guys know last year was interesting to say the least. Due to the pandemic all my courses were fully online. This was my fourth year which meant that I would now focus on my major and did not have any elective courses. We have to take four fourth year history courses this year and up to two third year history courses. Since this was my first time doing online classes I decided to take only two fourth year courses last semester.
At Brock, your fourth year history courses have a seminar like structure. You don’t have lectures and instead the focus is on discussing both primary and secondary sources with everyone else in your class. It’s significantly more reading compared to the other courses since the emphasis is on sources so that was what mostly kept me busy for the last few months. The discussions are normally student led and we are encouraged to participate as much as possible.
I used to dread seminars in my first semester because as someone with anxiety speaking up in front of everyone is not really something I’m awesome at. However, I am so glad we have seminars and are forced to participate- we aren’t exactly forced but you need to participate at least a few times to get a decent grade. It really helped bring me out of my comfort zone and it helped me develop a lot of skills that will be super useful for me in the future. I am pretty comfortable speaking in groups now in this kind of setting, I have better leadership skills since we have to lead some seminars and I am a lot more confident about my thoughts and opinions. If you knew me when I first started university- my followers who have been following this blog since the beginning will remember- you would never expect me to be okay with this kind of thing. But thanks to my anxiety decreasing significantly due to CBD oil and meditation along with getting used to speaking up I have actually really started enjoying seminars. It helps that I get to be in my pjs for the ones that I don’t have to switch on my camera lol!
Anyway that’s just a little background information about fourth year courses at Brock and how the history ones generally work. Here are the courses I took last semester and my thoughts about them:
History Of Slavery
I have had the professor who was teaching this course for another course and he is probably one of my favourite professors because the stuff he teaches is exactly the kind of history I am generally interested in learning. I took an American history course with him last semester and really enjoyed it. He is just super chill and understanding and has a really great vibe. He is also super understanding and tries to make sure his courses aren’t too overwhelming so we did not have a lot of assignments and stuff which was amazing.
I have learnt about slavery before in other courses. Before this course I had learnt about slavery in Rome, Africa and America but that was about it. I had never taken a course that was specifically about slavery so I was very curious to see what we would learn in this one and I was not disappointed. I learnt so many eye opening things that I had never learnt about before.
I loved that he also had multiple classes on slavery in the Caribbean because that was something that a lot of courses do not really talk about a lot. We also talked about slavery that is currently going on which was a bit difficult to read primary sources about because they were truly heartbreaking. Most of us know that these things are happening but when you learn about them in detail its just different and much more difficult to digest. I’m glad he added that because it was something that was hard to learn about but also important to learn about.
Apart from that we did the general stuff that one usually thinks about when we discuss slavery like slavery in America. I think out of all the courses I have taken so far this was one of the most difficult one because of the primary accounts of slaves or former slaves. It’s really hard to read some of the things we did. I’m not going to share in detail what they were as some very extremely explicit and disturbing.
Overall, this course was amazing and I truly ended up learning so much.
History Of Food
As you guys know there are three things that I love- food, history and writing- and this course was a combination of all three of these things. Out of all the courses I have taken this was the one I was most excited about and I was not disappointed in the least bit. The professor I had for this course was really great and I had a really fun time with this course. She was also super chill which was amazing.
We do not often think of history and food together- at least most of us don’t. I mean some historical events such as famines etc. make us think about history and food together but when we think about general history we often do not think about food. For example, when we think about the Cold War the first thing we think about is usually not food. This course showed me that maybe we should think about food a lot more than we do when it comes to history because it plays an insanely large role in most of history.
The best part of this class was that we get to recreate a recipe from history as part of our assignment and we can base our final research paper on it to except obviously our final paper is much more detailed and about the topic in general not just the recipe.
The recipe I decided to recreate was from a cookbook written by a former slave called Abby Fisher and the cookbook was called Mrs. Abby Fisher Knows Southern Cooking. You can check out an online version of the cookbook by clicking here. This was the second- formerly believed to be the first- cookbook published by a freed slave and an African American woman. She herself nor her husband were able to read or write so the recipes were dictated and written by someone else.
The reason I chose this particular cookbook was because since I was taking a course in slavery as well I was already interested in slave food, eating habits and how what is now known as soul food is inspired by slave food. Therefore, I thought this would be very interesting to recreate and also her recipes were super simple and easy to recreate which was helpful. I personally chose to make her ginger cookies recipe and they turned out pretty good although slightly dry so I would recommend adding oat or coconut milk for anyone who may want to try recreating it as well. That’s how mine turned out:
This course really helped me thinking of food as more than just something we put in our body but rather as something that helps define who we are. What we eat says much more about us than we think it does. For some of us it allows us to connect with our ancestors and our culture, for others it allows us to reminisce about different times and for all of us it helps us create new memories.
I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit more about the courses I took last semester and my experiences with them. Have you ever taken any similar courses or are you currently taking any similar courses? Would you try historical recipes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi!
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45 thoughts on “My Courses Last Semester”
When i was in uni a million years ago i took many courses on the ingenious people’s of Canada. Still so much to k
Learn but it was a start. History is our teacher. Great post as always Pooja
I’m taking a course about indigenous people this semester! It’s not specifically about Canada but it’s still very interesting.
There’s so much we can learn from them. So awesome to have you back.
Really happy to be back 😀
Yay! Don’t be a stranger. xoxo
I have never taken history courses in university. I was a science student, so I stuck to the sciences. For electives, I took psychology which was surprisingly enjoyable.
I took Psychology for one of my electives too and it was very interesting but I had taken Psychology for two years before that so most of what I learnt was just a repeat of what I knew which was a little annoying.
Glad things are working for you. Interesting how courses have changed. When I took my first degree the seminars tended to be mostly for Grad school…at least that is where I got most of the seminar style courses. Not so much for Undergrad. There were different level courses and the requirements were somewhat different. Different University too…one of my minors was in History in my first undergrad degree 🙂
Thanks! Yeah all the classes I have taken so far have a seminar class too which I really like. History is so much fun to learn in university!
Love historical recipes, they help bring the history alive. There are a few WWII recipes floating around but my favourite historical cook book is Good things in England by Florence White with recipes dating back to the 14thC it was first published in 1932 but reprinted by Persephone books.
And I personally think history is one of the most useful subjects you can study! Nothing teaches critical thinking better, but I have a vested interest it was one of my majors from my undergrad degree. Good luck with the studies.
Yes history is so great for critical and analytical thinking! 😊
I really enjoyed seminar type classes. It kind of gets your brain going.
Yeah it’s really fun to debate things and talk instead of just listening to lectures.
History is amazing… One can learn so much, it is often an eye opening experience. I also found that seminars helped me overcome speaking in front of many others 😊
Yeah you can truly learn a lot about the world through history. Seminars are great for public speaking- it’s helped me a lot with that!
History looks like so much fun. Learning all this new stuff about the world must be really fun.
Yeah it’s definitely a lot of fun!
You’re right. Food does play an important role in history and over the years, I’ve come to read/study food in history whenever I have the time to do so. Overall, history is fun! I love learning a little about everything.
History is definitely a lot of fun to learn! I’ve found that no matter what the course is about I always enjoy it.
Wow! Things are really going smoothly for you. I am glad to hear that.
Honestly, I have anxiety too when speaking in front of people. That’s why I opened a blog in the first place. University life is so stressful. Online classes too, you need to focus and get it all in your brain. I love history but, science is better to me.
Learning dates and all. Tough.
Thank you so much. I totally understand how that feels- anxiety is tough. And yeah online classes can be extremely stressful.
The first sentence might do with one less ‘last year.’ I took some courses to ensure i wasn’t in purgatory. I gave all of them up without completing them. Maybe not all of them. Super cool professors hmm. 👍
Good catch thanks! Yeah professors these days are really great- at least most of mine have been so far.
These all sound like very interesting classes. I wish I was into history more because my husband and son’s all love it. And I loooooove soul food! I don’t like cooking, but I love eating, so I’m going to check out Mrs. Abby’s cookbook! Thanks for sharing!
Yeah history can be super interesting and I think a lot of people love it. Soul food is sooo good- I started trying new soul food recipes after taking this class and so far they’ve all turned out amazing!
Glad you’re enjoying the classes and the food!
These courses look like fun Pooja and I like how hands-on your food history professor was about recreating dishes… that sure looks yummy.
Thanks for sharing. I love following historic events occassionally especially on YouTube channels that make the subject entertaining.
Thank you and I loved that we had to recreate the dishes too it made it much more fun! Yeah a lot of the history stuff on YouTube is quite interesting I like looking through those videos too.
You’re very welcome!
That sounds like a fun course! I have never really seen food as a way to connect with your ancestors, but that is quite accurate.
Yeah I didn’t think of it that way before taking this course either but it really is a way to connect with your ancestors and culture. It was definitely a very fun course!
First off… girl, your nails are😍😍😍😍 Also, just put me in your back pack. I want to take these classes too.
Aww thank you 😊😊 Lol you need to join my classes the fourth year ones are sooo interesting!!
Your courses sound so interesting!
They were really interesting last semester!
All the best with this one!
So interesting! I wish my university had these courses! I also think “history” (in general or of something specific) is extremely important to understand our world nowadays! 😊
Yeah history is so important to learn because it stops us from making the same mistakes. Plus learning history in university really helps with your skills because it teaches you to analyse things and understand things from multiple perspectives.
Exactly! I think it is a ver underrated topic, and I didn’t like history in school but now I wish I had paid more attention 😅
I hear that so often- high school really ruins certain subjects for us!